Elbridge Gerry

Elbridge Gerry Brief Biography

Elbridge Thomas Gerry (July 17, 1744 (O.S. July 6, 1744) - November 23, 1814) was an American statesman and diplomat. As a Democratic-Republican he was selected as the fifth Vice President of the United States (1813-14), serving under James Madison. He is known best for being the namesake of gerrymandering, a process by which electoral districts are drawn with the aim of aiding the party in power, although its initial "g" has softened to from the hard of his name.

Born into a wealthy merchant family, Gerry vocally opposed British colonial policy in the 1760s, and was active in the early stages of organizing the resistance in the American Revolutionary War. Elected to the Second Continental Congress, Gerry signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. He was one of three men who attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787 but refused to sign the United States Constitution because it did not then include a Bill of Rights. After its ratification he was elected to the inaugural United States Congress, where he was actively involved in drafting and passage of the Bill of Rights as an advocate of individual and state liberties.

Elbridge Gerry News

• Most U.S. Founding Fathers were age 40 and younger

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